To Live Is To Function

Oliver Holmes

In this symposium my part is only to sit in silence. To express one’s feelings as the end draws near is too intimate a task.


But I may mention one thought that comes to me as a listener. The riders in a race do not stop short when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear the kind voices of friends and to say to oneself: The work is done. But just as one says that, the answer comes: “The race is over, but the work never is done while the power to work remains. The canter that brings you to a standstill need not be only coming to rest. It cannot be, while you still live. For to live is to function. That is all there is to living.”


And so I end with a line from a Latin poet who uttered the message more than fifteen hundred years ago, “Death plucks my ear and says: Live — I am coming.”